Two Virginia schools have recently pushed buttons by displaying – and then removing – copies of the Ten Commandments in their halls.
In the first case, a school district in Giles County displayed copies of the Ten Commandments along with part of the Constitution in each of their schools. The framed displays were a gift from a pastor. They were removed after the ACLU threatened legal action against the school district.
The second case is more complicated: a group of student athletes displayed the Ten Commandments on their personal lockers. The school removed them, even though it normally allows students to decorate their lockers with personal notes and the like.
This second incident has brought out the ACLU again, but this time, they’re on the side of the students.
According to the Roanoke Times:
ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg said there is a difference between “school-imposed religious expression, such as that which occurred in nearby Giles County, and the personal religions expression of students,” a press release said.
The case has made strange bedfellows of the ACLU and the Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based group focused on religious freedom. They took opposing sides in the first case, but came together in defense of the students’ whose Ten Commandments postings were removed from their lockers.
On the one hand, it seems like this shouldn’t be any different from a student wearing a cross or a Star of David on a necklace. It’s just one kid’s personal religious expression. On the other hand, a group of students using their lockers to line the halls with the Ten Commandments could create a pretty intimidating atmosphere for other students.
What do you think? Should the Ten Commandments be allowed to be posted on school lockers, or does that create an unfair learning environment for non-Christian students?
Photo: House of Sims